January 2018, I have bought a 15W Acan A12 chinese made laser engraver. The kit arrived properly packed. Assembly took about 20 minutes, a total of 8 screws attached the loose parts and 5 kables needed to be connected. I run the Windows Acan software on my MacBook Air on Parallels. One driver needed to be installed as well. All in all - pretty easy. After reading the software manual I used the image which was used for lasering before on other machines and did my first test on cardbord. The second test was made on a copper plate. The result is amazing and I thing after some testing my project to make a enamel style pocket watch face completly myself at home will be a success.
Very important, ALWAYS use the safety glasses, have a well ventilated room and some exhaust ventilation!
ACAN A12 laser engraver at work.
Testing the settings, this is a bit try and error as every material needs different settings. There is no other way as to do some test series. The different settings you can alter are plenty. One setting which should also be altered is the focal length, the distance the laser diode is from the object. The machine is set to a focal length of 18 mm but the best results sofar are with 18,5 mm.
One weak spot is the mounting table, it is to wobbly. I solved the problem for the time being with an iron block.
I'm using Affinitiy Designer to generate the source JPG or PDF file which is than used with the Acan software to actually steer the laser.
April 2019, the Acan A12 laser is still in use. There is still no software update to find which could solve the zero point setting to better align the workpiece with the laser. For focal length adjustment I use my caliper and messure from the top of the cooler block. Best results is a resultant focal length of 18,5 mm. Cooler block 70,0mm plus 18,5mm. Caliper set to 88,5mm and then adjust the workpiece to touch under the calipers depth finder.
August 2020, still no software update available, and even worse the link to the software download page at www.hjk.hk/cj.html is not working anymore. This seems to be a dead end. Research on the newer type laser engravers, sold on the known auction platforms, all have a note that you should not update the firmware!